Mike "Doc" Emrick misses greeting people at the rink with a handshake and a hello, having conversations with everyone from players to coaches to the television crew and arena workers, and telling the inside stories he learns on the broadcast that night.
It's those things that have kept Emrick, the Hall of Fame play by play broadcaster for NBC Sports, yearning for hockey during the NHL season pause because of concerns about the coronavirus, and optimistically hoping for the League to relaunch at some point this season.
Emrick was a guest on this week's edition of the NHL @TheRink podcast, along with Philadelphia Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk.
"We realize, I think, that there are things that are far more important in life than sports, but we also realize too that people love these pursuits and they love the fact that we're involved in them, and that there is an addition to life that they bring," Emrick said. "And so we look forward to that time when we can get back to that."
Emrick talked specifically about the uniqueness, and strangeness, of working the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks at United Center on March 11, the night before the NHL went on pause. It was then, he said, that he realized normalcy was gone, at least temporarily.